Everyone needs a day out and what could be better than exploring your local area. Just down the road from me is Mount Stewart, a National Trust property that has vast grounds and a house that has a rich history.
On the day that I decided on this visit, the house was open but we chose to explore the gardens and grounds. The estate spans around 950 acres and has plenty of places to explore. There is plenty of parking on-site, a cafe and a shop as well as the house. The grounds around the house are nice and flat so perfect if you want to bring a picnic with you.
The gardens around the house are filled with cut hedges and flowers. This is the perfect setting for wedding pictures if that is what you fancy. In fact, while we were there, there was a newly wed-couple who had just tied the knot in the house and were having a garden party to celebrate. The gardens are divided into different sections to show the different formal gardens. Stone statues and plaques mark important trees that have been planted by kings and queens of the past. If you fancy a little piece of the gardens for your own home, then you can pop into the new garden centre and pick up your own Mount Stewart plant.
Travel up through the grounds and you will find a huge lake and variety of hiking trails that travel through woodland and forests. The Lake Walk is suitable for buggies and wheelchair users. Unfortunately, parts of the gardens and the house aren’t but there is plenty to explore on the trails including the squirrel hide. You can also bring your dog along for the walk, as long as it is on a short lead.
Up overlooking Strangford Lough there is a field of wildflowers. If you take a path up the other side of the property, you can see the lough from the Temple of the Winds.
Don’t forget to check out some of my other day trips out for inspiration